Future of pharmacy: right place, right time, right way

Our sales and marketing director, Nigel Swift shares his thoughts on the future of pharmacy and the exciting steps that LloydsPharmacy are taking to offer more flexible prescription services. 

What is it that customers really want from their shopping experience? It’s all about right place, right time and right way.

The advent of new technologies has given brands like ours greater opportunity to connect with customers – so it’s not just about in-store interactions, but also online, over the phone, through mobile apps and via social media. The development of these touch points makes it all the more important to adopt an omnichannel approach and give consumers the power to decide what they want their customer journey to look like.

The modern consumer is more sophisticated than ever before and their needs are constantly evolving. In the retail world, it’s a buyers’ market and companies are competing to create the most compelling customer experience.

The evolution of pharmacy has been a slow process, indeed there has been little change in the last century, however looking forward, pharmacy like any other sector, needs to adapt and grow quickly. So what can community pharmacy do to bridge this gap?

A lot of what we’re doing at LloydsPharmacy with our prescriptions service is aimed at answering that very question.

Customers have told us they want a service that makes it easy for them to get their prescription medication when they need it; available at a time that suits them and accessible with the right expert advice.

Whether patients want a prescription now or in the future, online or in store, delivered to their home or through our Online Doctor, our Perfect Prescription Service is all about enhancing the value of our services.

Essentially, we want to make it easier for customers to do business with us.

Over one billion prescription items were dispensed in the UK last year, a rise of more than 60% from this time 10 years ago. Figures like this emphasise just how important it is for us to deliver, but it also creates fantastic opportunities for us to offer great personal service and build lasting, meaningful relationships with patients.

There are also greater numbers of people living with long term conditions that need to be managed with repeat prescriptions and regular check-ups. This is a space that community pharmacy can occupy – and I believe it can do so in a way that considers both a patient’s primary care needs, and their lifestyle.

That’s why we’re extremely proud of our holistic prescription service offering. The future of pharmacy isn’t immune to universal changes in shopping behaviours – so tried and tested isn’t good enough. Our patients want their prescriptions, and actually their whole pharmacy experience, in the right place, at the right time and in the right way.